Monday, July 11, 2005

Rainforest river on the island of Borneo in Sabah, Malaysia

Rainforest river in Sabah, Malaysia. Borneo, the third largest island in the world, was once covered with dense rainforests. With swampy coastal areas fringed with mangrove forests and a mountainous interior, much of the terrain was virtually impassable and unexplored. Headhunters ruled the remote parts of the island until a century ago.

In the 1980s and 1990s Borneo underwent a remarkable transition. Its forests were levelled at a rate unparalled in human history. Borneo's rainforests went to industrialized countries like Japan and the United States in the form of garden furniture, paper pulp and chopsticks. Initially most of the timber was taken from the Malaysian part of the island in the northern states of Sabah and Sarawak. Later forests in the southern part of Borneo, an area beloging to Indonesia and known as Kalimantan, became the primary source for tropical timber. Today the forests of Borneo are but a shawdow of those of legend.

More pictures of Borneo


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